Almost a fortnight after a police officer and a youth were killed in mob violence in Bulandshahr, police have issued court notices to 23 accused who are on the run — including Bajrang Dal’s district convenor Yogesh Raj, a local BJP leader and a BJYM worker — declaring them proclaimed offenders and warning that their properties will be attached if they don’t surrender within a month.
While the notices were issued earlier this week, they were pasted on the doors of the accused on Friday. Posters with photographs of most of the accused, with their names and addresses, have also been pasted at public places in Bulandshahr and neighbouring districts.
Police Inspector Subodh Kumar Singh, the station house officer of Siyana police station in Bulandshahr, and a local youth, Sumit Kumar, were shot dead on December 3, as a mob protested against alleged cow slaughter. A Special Investigation Team (SIT) is probing the case, and 17 people have been arrested so far.
Police said investigations revealed the role of the 23 absconding accused — all residents of Bulandshahr — in the violence. Raids were conducted at the houses, and, as they remained absconding, police obtained non-bailable warrants against them.
“When they remained on the run, police moved the court again and obtained an order to declare them proclaimed offenders. The court’s notice, warning that their properties will be attached if they remain absconding, has been pasted at the houses of all the 23 accused. If they don’t surrender, we will again move court for an order to attach their properties,” said Additional Superintendent of Police, Bulandshahr, Atul Srivastava, who is part of the SIT.
Besides Yogesh Raj, Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha (BJYM) worker Shikhar Agarwal and BJP IT cell’s convenor in Siyana, Vikrant Tyagi, are among those named. Agarwal was earlier the president of BJYM’s Siyana unit.
“The role of those 23 people came to light during investigation. Police recorded statements of residents and scrutinised videos of the incident. The role of each accused will be confirmed after the investigation is completed,” said SSP, Bulandshahr, Prabhakar Chaudhary. He said posters with photographs and details of the accused have been sent to neighbouring districts too.
The Bajrang Dal had earlier defended Yogesh Raj and claimed that he was not present at the time of the violence. Bulandshar’s BJYM and BJP units had also said that Agarwal and Tyagi had been falsely implicated.
Meanwhile, Sumit’s family has decided to hold a dharna in Bulandshahr on Sunday to protest against alleged police inaction. “I will be sitting on dharna tomorrow, demanding that Sumit should be declared a martyr. Police are harassing me… My son was innocent, and nobody has been arrested in his murder case so far,” said Sumit’s father Nawab Singh, a farmer.
The Hindu Raksha Dal and Rashtriya Jat Ekta Manch (Bharat) have announced that they will hold a mahapanchayat at the collectorate’s office in Bulandshahr on December 30, alleging that police are framing innocent people in the violence.
“Police have named all persons seen in the videos as accused… We will be holding a mahapanchat on December 30 to demand a fair inquiry,” said Sandeep Singh Jat, organising secretary of Rashtriya Jat Ekta Manch (Bharat). “Of the 27 named in the violence, 19 belong to the Jat community. We will request that the Jat community should not be targeted,” he said.
“We decided to hold a mahapanchayat after coming to know that Hindu youths are being falsely implicated in the violence and police teams are harassing and humiliating their families,” said Pinky Chaudhary, national president of Hindu Raksha Dal.